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Pot Size

Posted by Motezuma z5 WV (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 23, 05 at 22:33

Hi all. I have some begonias that I started from leaves and they all lived! I was so thrilled. My question is, what is an appropriate size pot for a begonia? I've read here that if you pot them up, they will really grow. They're in little yogurt containers (the vertical ones, not the shallow ones) or 2.25" pots, and falling over all the time.

Also, I have a Mini Merry that has a stem (neck?) that extends from the soil and goes kind of horizontally in the air, before the leaves start, and then it goes up again. It looks kind of ugly. I'd repot and lower it if it were an african violet. Should I? I don't want it to rot.

Mo (WV)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pot Size

It makes a difference which begonia you're talking about potting up. If it's one that stays small you shouldn't put it in too large a pot, but if it has the right genes for size you can almost figure the 'sky's the limit'. In any case, you'll probably find they do better in shallow, rather than deep, pots. I use a lot of terra cotta bowls--six inches for smaller ones like 'Kit Kat', and the one with 'Washington State' must be at least sixteen inches and probably more. I also use plastic azalea pots and bulb pans for rhizomatous begonias.
As for Mini Merry--I too grow AVs and am tempted sometimes to plant them deeper, but DON'T!! They will almost surely rot. Cut them back and root the cuttings, and the basic rhizomes left will send up new growth and make a better plant. As a general rule, with rexes and other rhizomatous, you don't want to keep that long bare rhizome. They're really kinda neat sometimes, but they're better whacked off and re-started, allowing the rhizomes in the pot to start in many new places to make a fuller plant. There's more to this that I haven't figured out yet, but that's a start. Probably someone else will add more.

RE: Pot Size

Thanks Nancy. I am not sure how big my begonias will be. I got them through a trade and haven't been able to further ID them. One was a Noid Rex, one was called Beefsteak, there was an "Imperialis" (looks like Rhizo Silver Jewel to me) and Tiger Kitten.

I tend to use azalea pots for my other stuff too, so I'll continue that. I guess I'll just keep potting them up gradually till they don't seem to need it anymore. Also, I use 1:1:1 mix, so it's pretty light. Sometimes I'll even throw in an extra .5 ration of perlite. (This is for my other plants, but I'm thinking the begonias will like it too.)

Today I got some leaves in the mail from a generous soul, and two were mini rex's. They were pieces of the stem or rhizome, I guess. I buried this very shallow in mix. Was that the right thing to do? Or should I have planted it like a petiole?

Lastly, I'm *scared* to cut my Mini Merry. I have a hard time believing that the no-leaf stem will put up more growth. I'll try to post a pic tomorrow. If I did cut it off, my same question above applies (how to 'plant' it?).

Again, thanks a lot,
-Mo (WV)

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